Investing

An Introduction to Forex Trading

Forex trading is an investment vehicle that primarily focuses on taking advantage of currency fluctuations in the world market. Because of the inherent volatilities of currencies, forex trading is often considered one of the riskier forms of investment. However, recent advances in technology particularly in the improved accessibility to information and news that influence currency fluctuations have opened up forex trading to ordinary day traders instead of being solely in the domain of large financial institutions like corporations and national and central banks.

In a nutshell, forex trading is conducted via a foreign exchange market. The rationale behind the forex market boils down to the need to exchange cash in the conduct of various transactions. For example, suppose are based in the UK and you operate a small home-based business that sells unique artifacts from China for decorative purposes; when you purchase items from China, you need to pay for the artifacts in Chinese Yuan because this is the accepted currency there. You now have to “exchange” your British Pound in order to have the Chinese Yuan you need to pay for your goods.

Translating this into the global stage creates the forex trading platform where investors buy and sell currencies depending on the volatility of the currencies involved. For individual investors, these exchange markets include the spot market and the futures market. A spot market is where investors buy and sell currencies depending on the current price.

Transactions in this market require that you purchase a certain amount of currency and pay with another currency. You earn if, over the course of the trading day, you can manage to sell your acquired currency at a much higher value because the price for that currency went up. Conversely, you lose money when you buy currency which then devalues and you sold it at a lower price.

Forex trading in the futures market is more volatile and risky than spot trading but also offers considerably bigger payouts. In futures trading, the investor tries to anticipate where the exchange rate for any currency pair goes up or down after a certain period of time. If he or she gets it correctly, the payout can be as much as 85% of the initial investment; if he or she gets it wrongly, then payout can be zero.

Of course, the whole nature of forex trading is so much more complicated than what these descriptions can offer. Success in forex trading requires experience, whether on the spot or future markets, to be able to learn how to read the trends and news that influence the market. If you are up for it, take the time to study and learn so you can successfully put your money in foreign exchange investments. 

Debt Management

Budget-Wise Tips This Holiday Season: Learn Them Now

Budget-Wise Tips This Holiday Season: Learn Them Now

 

The holidays are here again; the attractive deals, shopping-inspired atmosphere and wild rush to purchase “limited” goods. It is easy to get carried away in the melee of excitement.

Remember, you will have to take account of your finances afterwards. In a survey, about 43% of people admitted to financial regret after the fervour of the holidays was over. You don’t want this to be your lot.

In this post, our financial expert suggests savvy shopping tips that ensure you enjoy the holiday without making mistakes that will cost you, literally.

1.    Value your relationships

Everybody has a list of people they would like to gift something this holiday. However, careful planning is key to avoid putting pressure on your finances. Write down a list of your loved ones and friends. Put a certain amount you wish to spend beside their name. The price limits will help keep your holiday budget in check.

2.    Compare prices with your phone

There are many gift ideas available in all the retail stores. Don’t make the mistake of deciding on the first place you come across, or you may end up paying more when you could pay less. Rather, use your phone to compare the price of the same item in other stores. This should present you with cheaper- even better alternatives.

3.    Don’t put off shopping until it is late

The holiday shopping experience banks on one thing; “limited offers”. Even though some of these items may not be limited, marketers use the scarcity principle to drive sales. When you buy early, you are somewhat immune to this effect. Moreover, you don’t get involved in the rush that is common with late shopping sprees. It is safer and more wallet-friendly.

4.    Research your options thoroughly

During the holidays, most people are in a hurry to secure the ‘best deals’ that they let down their guard. Online fraudsters capitalise on this to scam unsuspecting shoppers. Beware of deals that appear too good to be true.

Always research the vendor. Protect the details of your current account (or any other bank account) online. Watch out for fake websites, phishing scams and products that are not really there.5.    Consider making gifts

The beauty of giving gifts to loved ones is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. As they say, the joy is in the gesture. If you are good with your hands, put on your creative hat and get crafting. There are many good ideas on DIY websites. Consider beautifully framed photos, cookies for your kids’ teachers, knitwear and so on. They are practical and cost effective.

6.    Manage your spending

Prepare a budget for your expenditures. It is essential to pen down a total amount you plan to spend this holiday. Watch the cash flow and note when you go off track.

It is easier to remain in control when you spot heavy spending early. Factor in additional expenses like delivery and shipping costs so you don’t get caught off guard. If you are travelling, create a travel budget too.

After the holidays, do a review of your expenses and write down lessons learned.

Debt Management

Different Ways Of Repaying Your Student Loans Faster

In the recent years, the costs of education have increased to such a great extent that without student loans, it is difficult to continue higher education. There are many reliable lenders like banks that grants student loans at various interest rates. Getting access to these loans is not difficult. However, the major problem is that students find great difficulties in repaying the loans because of the high interest rates and lack of proper jobs. Moreover, there are variable loans and loan from the government. The combination of these things can often make situations difficult. If you are fighting with your student loan, you will have to find out easy means to repay your loans.

Choose The Right Repayment Plan:

It is extremely crucial to make sure that you are successful in choosing the right federal loan with proper repayment plan. Different loans offer different repayment options, especially in the context of federal loans. The loans range from the standard plan to a term period of about 10 years. There are even income-based repayment options that can have lower interest rates. Make sure that you acquire information on different repayment options so that you are successful in selecting the best.

Paying The Private Loans First:

There is another important thing that you should always remember in the context of private loans. These are variable loans and the interest rates on these loans no credit check are higher. Thus, you should try to pay off these variable loans first. Rates can also climb in the next few years, and you do not want to pay the high interest rates. Therefore, it is always better to pay them so that you are relieved from a majority of loan terms. Once you have repaid the variable ones, you can now concentrate on the fixed ones granted by the federal agencies.

Make Frequent Payments:

The easiest way to pay off your student loan is to pay more every month. Based on the monthly amount that you have to pay each month, you can try to pay slightly more. The lender will accept the extra amount and this will reduce your burden over the student loan. Decide a percentage of extra payment that you can afford to pay each month on the basis of which you can set up a plan. If you are able to pay off greater amount of money, it is obvious that your loan will be repaid and you can save money on your interest rates.

Budget Better:

The first and the most important thing that you should not forget are to create a proper budget. Lack of a proper budget will not enable you to understand and determine the amount that you need to pay. A better budget will surely help you to save more money so that you are able to repay your loan. Getting rid of student loan or any other loan at the earliest is essential because it can create a good impact on your overall credit score. This can be a great option.

Frugality

Saving Money This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be really expensive. If you are in charge of the Thanksgiving dinner you probably will spend hundreds of dollars on turkey, side dishes, centerpieces, family entertainment and more. Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some great money saving tips to help you stick to your budget this Thanksgiving.

Make Dinner- Don’t Buy

It can be tempting to order a premade Thanksgiving dinner from a local restaurant or caterer. While these dinners are convenient, they are also very expensive. The cost of buying and cooking a turkey and side dishes is much less than the cost of ordering these.

If you want to save money this Thanksgiving, offer to host the meal at your house rather than spending the money to take everyone out to dinner. When family comes over, make the food yourself rather than ordering in.

Ask for Help

Many people hosting a Thanksgiving dinner think that they have to do everything alone. This is not true and is a great way to spend a fortune feeding the entire family dinner. Instead ask for help. Ask each family that is coming to bring a couple of dishes. If you create a sign up sheet, or assign specific dishes like green beans, mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie you will be sure to get everything you need without having to buy and make everything yourself. This can save a lot of money while still ensuring a delicious family dinner for everyone.

Stay Home

While no one wants to be alone for Thanksgiving, sometimes travel is just not financially possible. If you only have a few days off for the holiday, don’t fly out of town unless you have the money available. Flights are more expensive around the holidays.

If you do have to stay in town, connect with your family on this special day in other ways. Consider having a live video chat using Skype or another free service. You can also share in the Thanksgiving festivities by making a traditional family recipe. Invite some other friends over and have a special day from home.

Focus on Affordable Entertainment

Many families love to go out to a big football game or spend Thanksgiving afternoon at the movie theater. While these fun family traditions are important, they should not be at the expense of your budget. If you can’t afford the usual family traditions this year, start some new ones. Consider playing board games with your family or host an all family football game in your backyard. You can also rent movies and watch at home instead of going out. Fun family traditions are based on creating memories, not overspending.

Set Up a Gift Exchange

When the whole family is together at Thanksgiving, it is the perfect time to start saving money for Christmas. Rather than buying everyone gifts this year, consider setting up a family gift exchange instead. You could have everyone draw one name for gift giving or could assign each family another family for purchasing. This can really save money and allow you to focus on getting one special gift rather than several less expensive ones. It is a great way to help your family start saving money as well.

If a gift exchange isn’t something you are interested in, consider buying your gifts in advance and taking them to Thanksgiving dinner so that you don’t have to spend money on postage closer to Christmas.

Hopefully these money saving tips will help you have a delightful and affordable Thanksgiving this year. If you keep your budget in mind over the holidays you will be better able to enjoy spending time with your family. After all, who wants to worry about money the entire holiday season? Choose a couple of these tips and start saving.

How do you save money on Thanksgiving?

 

Money Management

4 Mistakes Made With Structured Settlements

If you have been awarded a structured settlement through divorce, a lottery winning, a legal suit or as a result of some other circumstance, good for you.  Structured settlements can be a nice little source of income and even take into account the person paying them – insomuch that they don’t have to pay everything up front.  If you need the cash from a structured settlement right now however, these payments that have been set up to take place through time, probably don’t suit your current needs. That’s where structured settlements fall short.  

There are companies however that will buy your structured settlement from you for a predetermined amount of money thereby possibly relieving your financial situation.  It is vital that you research the company to whom you sell your structured settlement. Here are a few things to avoid. 

4)LEAPING BEFORE YOU LOOK

IMAGE 1  MISTAKES WITH A SETTLEMENT

 If you haven’t at some time in your life received the advice to ‘shop around’, you must have been living underneath a rock somewhere.  Surely your parents told you this and every financial advisor in the world says the same thing.  Never settle for the first offer… always, always shop around.  There are numerous companies out there willing to purchase your structured settlement.  Make sure you don’t go with the wrong one.

 3) NOT CONSIDERING A PARTIAL BUYOUT 

IMAGE 2  MISTAKES WITH A SETTLEMENT

If you don’t need the entire lump sum right off the bat consider having the buyout company purchase only what you need right now, leaving the rest of the structured settlement as monthly payments.  This can provide you with extra money every month, until of course the final payment amount is met, that you wouldn’t have ordinarily had.  You’re basically only taking what you need and leaving the rest.  

2) NOT SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE 

IMAGE 3  MISTAKES WITH A SETTLEMENT

Two things should be considered, at the very least, when having your structured settlement purchased.  Never do anything without a contract and don’t be rushed into anything.  Make sure that the contract is complete and applicable to your specific agreement.  Also, a company that is rushing you should set off all sorts of bells and whistles in your mental warning system. 

1) BLOWING ALL YOUR MONEY RIGHT OUT THE GATE 

IMAGE 4  MISTAKES WITH A SETTLEMENT

This is especially true if you get your lump sum all at once.  Blowing that money on something frivolous and short-lived is going to leave you with an empty pocket and possibly even more expenses than you had to begin with.  Don’t make the fatal mistake that many lottery winners have made. 

The right structured settlement purchasing company will let you know how long you will have to wait for your money.  These types of agreements usually find their way to you within 6 to 8 weeks after the agreement has been completed.  The company now takes over receipt of the structured payments, but you in return get a cash award all at one time.  

By using your favorite search engine and entering the words cash for annuity payments you should be able to find a company that can do this for you. What’s even nicer is if you can get all of the company that will find the best deal for you, since there is obviously more than one company out there involved in this type of transaction.  You want the best rates after all and the best deal.  You want a reputable company, not some fly by night Johnny-come-lately.  All of this said, remember to take care that you don’t fritter away this found money.